Last year Sodexo took the last step in eradicating Styrofoam from all of their restaurants and cafés on campus, as requested by diners, by changing to compostable clamshell to-go containers.
I’m excited to tell you that user feedback has also helped with the introduction of reusable plates for dining in the Nebraska Café. If you are taking your food to go, please continue to use the to-go containers; reusable plates are not to leave the Café.
Reusable plates are available at the salad bar and you can ask your café server for a reusable plate at all other food stations. In addition to improving your dining experience in the Nebraska Café, these plates will reduce waste and keep costs lower.
While visiting the Nebraska Café you may have also noticed a change to the tray return area. To help support the reusable plate program, ensure items left on the tray return are recycled, and prep items for composting (we aren’t composting yet, but we’ll let you know), we are asking users to help sort the materials they place on the tray return.
We are asking you to sort items into three categories:
- Top level: Landfill; soft plastics, coffee/soda cups, glass
- Middle level: Recyclables; plastics 1-7, plastic containers, aluminum or tin cans
- Bottom level: Reusable plates, fiber to-go containers, any food waste, napkins.
There are table tents in place to help you prep your items, and graphics next to the tray return to help when you get there—see the picture above.
Many of us like to compact our trash before we leave the table—you know, you stuff your saran wrap and your banana peel into your yogurt cup—but resist that urge! Those three items will got on the three different levels at the tray return.
The café sorters behind the tray return are really busy (did you know the Nebraska Café serves over 6,000 meals a week??) and they don’t have time to take everything apart to sort it. By sorting items on the tray return, you are helping to decrease your waste and the waste on campus.
Thank you for your help with this new initiative. If you have questions about where to place a particular item, please post a comment here or email LiveGreen@unmc.edu If you have other comments, please submit them via the comment cards in the café, near the condiment station.